Oliver Bierhoff was the golden-goal hero as football 'came home'; UEFA.com recalls the drama.
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Who won EURO '96?
Germany came from behind in the EURO '96 final to defeat the Czech Republic 2-1 and win their first EURO following reunification at Wembley on 30 June. Losing finalists in 1992, Germany were facing more heartbreak when Patrik Berger converted from the spot, but Berti Vogts sent on Oliver Bierhoff and – after heading an equaliser – the predatory finisher won the game four minutes into extra time. His shot may have been tame, but it found its way past Petr Kouba for the competition's first ever golden goal. "He deserved it so much," said team-mate Matthias Sammer. "We all gained from it, but he deserved it."
Who were the top scorers at EURO '96?
Alan Shearer ended a 21-month international goal drought by top-scoring in the tournament with five goals, netting against Switzerland, Scotland, the Netherlands (twice) and Germany. He also scored shoot-out penalties against Spain and Germany, but his England team lost to Germany in the semi-finals. The aggressive striker remains a club great at Newcastle United, and yet lifted the only major trophy of his career – the 1994/95 Premier League – with Blackburn.
Meanwhile, Croatia's Davor Šuker struck 12 times in Group 4 to finish as the leading marksman in qualifying, with his side making it to their first finals since the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. Then at Sevilla, the former Dinamo Zagreb forward made the biggest splash when he scored in an unexpected 2-1 win against Italy in Palermo. After the finals, he moved to Real Madrid, winning the league in his first season and the UEFA Champions League in his second.
Where was EURO '96 held?
England staged its first UEFA European Championship in 1996. The games were played in eight cities: Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.
Who managed the winning team at EURO '96?
Berti Vogts guided Germany to success at EURO '96. He had replaced former international team-mate Franz Beckenbauer as coach of the soon-to-be united nation in 1990. A runner-up at EURO '92, he went one better at EURO '96 when the final victory over the Czech Republic exorcised the demons of 20 years earlier, when he had been on the losing side in the 1976 showpiece against Czechoslovakia. As a player, defender Vogts won the 1972 EURO and the 1974 FIFA World Cup. After Germany, he coached Kuwait, Scotland, Nigeria and Azerbaijan.
Who was the winning captain at EURO '96?
With Lothar Matthäus injured, Jürgen Klinsmann captained West Germany in England and led by example, scoring three goals and playing in the final despite a calf strain that had ruled him out of the semis. Klinsmann notched 47 goals in 108 international appearances and registered in all six major tournaments he graced. 'The Baker's Son from Botnang' coached Germany to third place at the 2006 World Cup on home soil.
What was the format for EURO '96?
The first 16-team EURO ran from 8–30 June 1996, and started with a group stage – with teams divided into four groups of four and, for the first time, with three points for a win and one for a draw. The group winners (England, France, Germany and Portugal) then faced runners-up from other groups (Netherlands, Spain, Czech Republic and Croatia) in the quarter-finals as the tournament became a straight knockout competition.
How many teams featured in EURO '96?
Sixteen finalists featured for the first time at a European Championship finals, and a record six countries made their final-tournament debuts at EURO '96: Bulgaria, Switzerland, Turkey, the now independent Czech Republic, Croatia and Russia.
How did EURO '96 qualifying work?
Forty-seven teams competed to qualify for EURO '96 in fixtures played between April 1994 and December 1995 – including newcomers Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, North Macedonia, Slovenia and Liechtenstein. Sides were split into eight groups: seven groups contained six teams and one group had five. The sides played each other home and away, and for the first time winners got three (rather than two) points. The winners of each group and the six best runners-up qualified for the finals, with the lowest-ranked runners-up (Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland) meeting in a two-legged play-off – won by the Oranje.
Who was in the EURO '96 team of the tournament?
GK: Andreas Köpke (Germany)
DF: Laurent Blanc (France)
DF: Marcel Desailly (France)
DF: Matthias Sammer (Germany)
DF: Paolo Maldini (Italy)
MF: Paul Gascoigne (England)
MF: Karel Poborský (Czech Republic)
MF: Dieter Eilts (Germany)
FW: Alan Shearer (England)
FW: Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria)
FW: Davor Šuker (Croatia)
Who scored the first goal at EURO '96?
Alan Shearer ended his 12-game England scoring drought by bagging the first goal of EURO '96 at Wembley, London. Collecting Paul Ince's cute inside pass before unleashing a fearsome shot high into the roof of the net, Shearer put the hosts ahead against Switzerland inside 23 minutes. The Swiss fought back, however, earning an impressive point courtesy of Kübilay Türkyilmaz's late penalty.
Northern Ireland's Jimmy Quinn had slammed in the first goal of qualifying four minutes into his side's 4-1 win over Liechtenstein in Belfast on 20 April 1994. The next qualifiers did not take place for almost five months. Belfast-born striker Quinn had a mammoth career in England's lower leagues, and in 1994 was in the midst of a successful spell at Reading. He did not stop playing first-team football until well into his 40s.
Five top facts about EURO '96
• England's official song, Three Lions, containing the refrain "football's coming home", was taken up by the victorious side and reached No16 in the German pop charts.
• Spoon-bending paranormalist Uri Geller claimed his powers moved the ball before Scotland's Gary McAllister had a penalty saved with his team trailing England 1-0.
• Germany overtook the USSR's record by reaching a fifth final and secured a third EURO title. Spain and France are the only other countries with more than one.
• Alan Shearer finished as EURO '96 top scorer with five goals. Two more at EURO 2000 mean the England ace is the third-highest scorer in finals history behind Michel Platini and Cristiano Ronaldo.
• As in 1988, the 1996 finalists also met in the group stage. Germany beat the Czech Republic 2-0 in the group stage and 2-1 in the final.